Southland lock’s Hoani MacDonald’s heart attack has sent a strong reminder to clubs and teams at grassroots level.
Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde said that the incident, which occurred during the NPC semifinal between Southland and Counties-Manukau at the weekend, highlighted the importance of having trained and equipped medics at rugby matches at all levels.
Van der Linde also urged players to undergo regular screening.
“Something like this can happen so quickly, but the chance of a cardiac-related incident happening can also be hugely reduced if sportsmen and women, particularly our youngsters still at school, undergo regular pre-season screenings,” Van der Linde said.
“Prevention is always the best cure and it is always far easier to manage a possible tragic situation if detected early, then to try to deal with the problem once an incident has occurred.
“Just a quick visit to your local cardiologist and a couple of tests later and you’ll will be able to rest easy in the knowledge that you are clear of any heart-related conditions,” he added.
MacDonald was stabilised after his shock collapse moments after completing a line-out take and rushed to Middlemore Hospital where he was put into an induced coma.
The former Highlanders and Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby player reportedly flat-lined twice, but was revived after receiving almost 10 minutes of CPR and a shot of adrenaline from pitchside medical personnel.
The 34-year-old was on Monday moved from ICU to a coronary care ward.